Honestly, in my work as a therapist, I’m seeing this A Lot, and tbh I still don’t have a satisfactory approach to it. A heavy dose of Existentialist “create your own Purpose” tempered with “when the plane’s going down, put your own oxygen mask on first”, but… yeah, there is no ethical way to work on individual emotional distress without acknowledging the systemic socioeconomic, geopolitical fuckery going on at the moment, and the sheer grief that comes with it.
This is one of those areas where like on the one hand as a chronic moderate-severe depressive this shit hits me hard and on the other I’m watching people technically more mentally healthy than me struggle with the vast pointless mess of existence for the first time and it’s a trip.
Some tips from the inside, in case they help:
– life has always been pointless. Or rather, we have always been unable to control the relative point-fulness of life. The factors involved in opening the possibilities of who can have a large scale impact where are so insanely complex that they can at best only be pieced together imperfectly in retrospect
– the only thing that has changed is your awareness of this fact. No, seriously. The sun will eventually swallow the planet; at any moment without our knowledge or control the sun could flare in weird ways that will kill us all; etc. There was geopolitical and socioeconomic fuckery as bad or worse going on before: you just didn’t see it. Promise.
– you do what you can with what you have. You do what’s in front of you. Humanity has survived all of this before; it may survive it again. It may not. You can only do what you can: take what lessons exist from the past and apply them.
– sometimes it is just that bad and they are totally out to get you. The question is, what do you do about it?
– almost without exception in human history the answer has been “build community; support the one you have; reach out to connect MORE and to make the world more kind and less hateful than before.”
– recognize you’re trying to tackle god-level problems with a brain originally meant for keeping small proto-fish from being eaten. Treat that part of your brain like a very anxious toddler or rescue pitbull. Give it small measurable victories and successes even if you have to make them up. Make sure it’s fed and watered and has enough rest. Medicate it if you have to – there’s nothing wrong with that. The opposite, in fact.
We are hairless plains apes living in a thin skin of atmosphere between spinning liquid superheated death and the void of absolute cold, sustained by the radiation of a supermassive explosion that will kill us at the slightest excuse. We have always been unlikely and implausible and probably doomed which means every moment we are able to live, thrive and help others do so is an incredible victory. Don’t quit now. ❤️
Holy fuck I needed this